Orsha Campaign

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Orsha Campaign
★ ★ ★
Carte orsha.png
The overall strategic map. The Army General area is highlighted by a rectangle.
Settings
Turns14, Soviets begin
Allied income25 + 30
Axis income20 + 15/turn
Objectives
GoalsOrsha and Tolotshin
Allied forces
Event chernia.png

Commander: Colonel-General Chernyakhovsky

8th Guards Rifle Corps
16th Guards Rifle Corps
36th* 2nd Guards Tank Corps
Axis forces
Event ger orsha.png

Commander: Generalleutnant Völckers

25th Panzergrenadier-Division
78th Sturm-Division
260. Infanterie-Division
256. Infanterie-Division (attached)
Luftflotte 6

Orsha is the first campaign in the Army General mode in Steel Division II. It is also the most complex and difficult one, with a level 3 difficulty.

Briefing[edit | edit source]

Orsha, strategic crossroad and strongest point of the German defense, was to be the place were OPERATION BAGRATION would succeed or fail. And therefore, the place were the best divisions on each side would be pitted against each others ...

As it was planning OPERATION BAGRATION, the Soviet general staff knew from previous failed attempts at capturing it that Orsha was the strongest point in the German frontline. Defended by the toughest and best equipped infantry division in the German Army, the 78th Sturm-Division, it would be a hard nut to crack.

To break that strongpoint, the Soviets have gathered several elite Guards rifle corps, reinforced with special artillery & engineer assault units.

On the German side, the 78th Sturm-Division could count of its well-prepared defensive positions and a few heavy support, such as Tiger tanks & Nashorn tank destroyers. But it was only as strong as its neighbouring divisions which, in case they were broken, would allow the Soviets to outflank it...

Intro[edit | edit source]

24 hours after the initial Soviet assault on Vitebsk, its garrison is on the verge of collapsing. All signs now point towards Orsha as the next target, which the Soviet 11th Guards Army is about to attack with strong combat engineer support. Orsha is a crucial road and railroad hub, one of the main strongpoints in the German front. So important is this city that Hitler earmarked it as a fortress, meaning it must be defended to the last man. Two of the best German divisions, the 78. Sturmdivision and the 25. Panzergrenadier-Division, are defending the sector, ready to counter-attack the Soviets wherever they might break through. But their northern flank is held by the 256. Infanterie-Division, a unit destroyed and rebuilt too many times with too many raw recruits.

Soviet

Your objective is to take control of the Moscow-Minsk highway: Once Tolotschin is secured, we will unleash the 5th Guards Tank Army on the German rear. Choose your axis of attack well: The highway will allow for the fastest movement, but is also the most heavily defended sector.

German

The Soviet objective will be to take control of the Moscow-Minsk highway in order to break through to our rear near Tolotschin. Your mission is to prevent that from happening at all costs: We must retain control of the highway.

Historical outcome[edit | edit source]

Although the 78. Sturm-Division repelled all Soviet assaults for two whole days, the 256. Infanterie-Division on its left flank quickly broke under pressure, opening a gap in the German lines. Quickly adapting to the situation, the Soviets pushed the 2nd Guards Tank Corps into the breach, bypassing the determined XXVII. Korps and trapping the 78. Sturm-Division in Orsha. Tolotschin fell to the Red Army late on June 26tyh, while German pockets of resistance were still fighting desperately in Orsha.

Objectives[edit | edit source]

  • Orsha and Tolotshin. Orsha is a critical strategic location that sits on top of a river and must be seized by the Soviets and defended by the Nazis. Tolotschin is a staging area for further attacks west, sitting on top of the highway.
  • Both sides control a single airfield: The Soviet airfield is located at Rudnja, in the far northeastern corner, while the Nazi one is at Tolotschin. It's virtually impossible to knock the latter out and it will constantly remain a thorn in the attack's side. However, it's entirely possible to sneak a battalion along the northern edge of the map and seize the airfield, which will effectively nullify the Soviet AI. Fusilier-Bat 256 of the 256. Infanterie-Division is well suited for the task, thanks to its range of motion and deployment close to the northern edge of the map. This breaks the AI and renders it dead in the water, allowing for an effortless achievement.

Order of battle[edit | edit source]

See Orsha campaign order of battle

Events[edit | edit source]

Note
The campaign starts on Morning of June 24, 1944.
  • Morning June 24 (2): Soviet assault troops attack Mogilev.
  • Morning June 26 (6): Most of Vitebsk's garrison is attempting to break out.
  • Evening June 26 (7)wd: The breakout from Vitebsk has failed completely. LIII Korps (53rd Corps) is annihilated.

Soviet[edit | edit source]

  • Evening June 23 (1): 35th Gds. Ind. Hvy. Tank Rgt. is available with 8th Guards Rifle Corps.
  • Morning June 25 (4): 25th Gds. Tank Brig. is available with 2nd Guards Tank Corps.
  • Morning June 27 (8): Three days left to secure Tolotschin, comrade.
  • Morning June 28 (10): Tolotschin must fall within 48 hours, comrade, or the whole operation will be in jeopardy.
  • Victory: After taking Orsha, the Soviets race towards Minsk, left virtually undefended.

Reich[edit | edit source]

  • Evening June 23, 1944 (1): StuG-Abt. 189 and s.Panzerjager-Abt. 519 become available for deployment
  • Evening June 24 (3): Schweres Panzer-Abteilung 501 (Heavy Panzer Battalion 501) is available for the 25. Panzergrenadier.
  • Morning June 27 (8): We have to hold them off. There's nobody behind us if they break through.
  • Morning June 28 (10): Reinforcements are on their way to Minsk, we must hold them a little longer.
  • Morning June 29: 5. Panzerdivision is detraining a few kilometers from Tolotschin. Hold on for 24 hours and they will come to the rescue.
  • Victory: XXVII. Korps' sacrifice at Orsha allowed Army Group Center to establish a new defensive line to cover Minsk.

Reinforcements[edit | edit source]

Soviet[edit | edit source]

  • Morning June 23 (0):
    • 27-y Gv. Strelk. Polk (16th Guards Infantry Corps, 20)
    • 16-y Gv. Strelk. Korpus (16th Guards Infantry Corps, 15)
    • 621st Assault Rgt. (1st Air Army, 15)
  • Evening June 23 (1):
    • 35-y OGTTP (8th Guards Infantry Corps, 20)
    • 17-y Gv. Strelk. Polk (8th Guards Infantry Corps, 20)
    • 12-y Gv. Strelk. Polk (8th Guards Infantry Corps, 20)
    • 63-y OGTTP (16th Guards Infantry Corps, 10)
    • 167-y Gv. Strelk. Polk (16th Guards Infantry Corps, 20)
  • Morning June 24 (2):
    • 8-y Gv. Strelk. Korpus (8th Guards Infantry Corps, 30)
    • 8-ya Gv. Strelk. Div. (8th Guards Infantry Corps, 10)
    • 99-y Gv. Strelk. Polk (16th Guards Infantry Corps, 20)
    • 49-y Gv. Strelk. Polk (36th Guards Infantry Corps, 20)
    • 46-y Gv. Strelk. Polk (36th Guards Infantry Corps, 20)
    • I./117th Gds. Recon. Rgt. (1st Air Army, 5)
  • Evening June 24 (3):
    • 250-y Gv. Strelk. Polk (8th Guards Infantry Corps, 20)
    • 248-y Gv. Strelk. Polk (8th Guards Infantry Corps, 20)
    • 25-ya Gv. Tank Brig. (2nd Guards Tank Corps, 20)
    • 4-ya Gv. Tank Brig. (2nd Guards Tank Corps, 20)
    • 171-y Gv. Strelk. Polk (16th Guards Infantry Corps, 20)
    • 53-y Gv. Strelk. Polk (36th Guards Infantry Corps, 20)
    • 51-y Gv. Strelk. Polk (36th Guards Infantry Corps, 20)
    • 36-y Gv. Strelk. Korpus (36th Guards Infantry Corps, 15)
    • 291st Fighter Rgt. (1st Air Army, 10)
  • Morning June 25 (4):
    • 83-ya Gv. Strelk. Div. (8th Guards Infantry Corps, 15)
    • I./1-ya Gv. PT Brig. (8th Guards Infantry Corps, 15)
    • 252-y Gv. Strelk. Polk (8th Guards Infantry Corps, 20)
    • 1-ya Gv. Strelk. Div. (16th Guards Infantry Corps, 10)
    • 169-y Gv. Strelk. Polk (16th Guards Infantry Corps, 20)
    • 18-ya Gv. Strelk. Div. (36th Guards Infantry Corps, 15)
    • 58-y Gv. Strelk. Polk (36th Guards Infantry Corps, 20)
    • 274th Fighter Rgt. (1st Air Army, 10)
    • 9th Guards Fighter Rgt. (1st Air Army, 10)
  • Evening June 25 (5):
    • 2-y Gv. Tank. Korpus (2nd Guards Tank Corps, 20)
    • 4-ya Gv. MSBr (2nd Guards Tank Corps, 20)
    • 26-ya Gv. Tank Brig. (2nd Guards Tank Corps, 20)
    • 893rd Assault Rgt. (1st Air Army, 10)

German[edit | edit source]

  • Morning June 23 (0):
    • Infanterie-Rgt. 476 (256. Infanterie-Division, 10)
    • Sturm-Rgt. 15 (78. Sturm-Div., 15)
    • Panzer-Abt. 8 (25. Panzergrenadierdivision, 15)
    • PzGren-Rgt. 35 (25. Panzergrenadierdivision, 15)
    • II./Nahaufklarungsgruppe 4 (Luftflotte 6, 5)
    • Nachtschlachtgruppe 2 (Luftflotte 6, 5)
  • Evening June 23 (1):
    • s.Panzeräger-Abt 519 (78. Sturm-Div., 10)
    • StuG-Abt. 189 (78. Sturm-Div., 20)
  • Morning June 24 (2):
    • Infanterie-Rgt. 481 (256. Infanterie-Division, 10)
    • AOK Reserve (78. Sturm-Div., 30)
    • Infanterie-Rgt. 480 (260. Infanterie-Division, 20)
    • Reserve (78. Sturm-Div., 10)
    • Reserve (260. Infanterie-Division, 10)
  • Evening June 24 (3):
    • Reserve (256. Infanterie-Division, 10)
    • Infanterie-Rgt. 470 (260. Infanterie-Division, 15)
    • s.Panzer-Abt. 501 (25. Panzergrenadierdivision, 25)
    • III./Kampfgeschwader 4 (Luftflotte 6, 30)
    • I./Jagdgeschwader 51 (Luftflotte 6, 15)
  • Morning June 25 (4):
    • Infanterie-Rgt. 11 (256. Infanterie-Division, 10)
    • Sicherungs-Rgt. 2 (78. Sturm-Div., 10)
    • Reserve (25. Panzergrenadierdivision, 20)
    • III./Sturzkampfgeschwader 1 (Luftflotte 6, 10)